MADISON / SHEBOYGAN - Jean Nemschoff, 90, formerly of Sheboygan, WI, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 25, 2013, at Attic Angel Place-Haven in Madison, WI, where she happily resided since September 2011. Despite her Alzheimer's, Jean was able to establish herself in a new community where her fun personality came through. The caring staff enjoyed her as much as she enjoyed them.
Jean was born on January 5, 1923, in Council Bluffs, IA. She was an only child who moved often with her parents during her early years due to the Great Depression. Eventually they moved to Milwaukee where she was valedictorian at Riverside High School. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and met the love of her life, Leonard Nemschoff. In 1944 Jean completed college at Downer College in Milwaukee (now part of Lawrence University). Lenny enlisted to fight in WWII, leaving UW. They married (December 5,1943) and Jean followed Lenny through his training in Pomona, CA, and Brownsville, TX, before returning to Milwaukee while Lenny served in the Philippines and Japan. They had their first child, Mark, while Lenny was in the Army. Jean gave birth to Mark without Lenny at her side - as many young women did during those times. After Lenny returned from the war, Jean and Lenny lived in Milwaukee two years before moving to Sheboygan. Their second child, Muffin, was born there and Lenny started Nemschoff Chairs in 1950.
Jean was "the woman behind the man," hosting business guests and parties and having enduring faith in her husband's many ideas. Jean and Lenny's devotion to each other was remarkable. People often commented on the exemplary quality of their relationship.
Jean volunteered in many ways. She was PTA President, Cub Scout leader, Girl Scout leader and served on the boards of the Little Red School House, Catholic Social Services, YMCA, Hadassah, and Congregation Beth El Sisterhood. She also loved working with children -volunteering at the Early Learning Center and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Preschool and reading to children in their elementary schools
Jean served as the Divorce Reconciliation Counselor at Sheboygan County Social Services. After retiring from that job, Jean had a brief career in women's retail sales.
Jean loved physical activity. She played tennis and may be the only resident to take her tennis racquet when moving into a dementia facility! She tried yoga before most people even knew what it was and Jean waterskied until she was 65 years old. Until the end Jean was dancing. She could never keep her feet still when music was playing. Staff at Attic Angels helped her dance even when she was sitting in a wheelchair because they had seen her "moves" when she was more mobile. Jean will be dancing forever in our hearts.
Jean was preceded in death by her loving husband Lenny and her parents, Edythe and Maurice Gilinsky. She is survived by her children Mark Nemschoff (Barbara Crisp) and Muffin (Joan) Alschuler (Edward), her grandchildren Amy Hellman (Peter), Paul Nemschoff (Anne), and Kevin Alschuler (Heather), and great-grandchildren Luke, Dia, and Liza Hellman, Leo and Max Nemschoff, and Morgan Alschuler.
Jean's funeral service will be at 11:30 AM on Friday, December 27th, at Ballhorn Funeral Home, 1201 N 8th St, Sheboygan, WI, with visitation beginning at 10:00 AM. Interment will follow immediately at Sheboygan Hebrew Cemetery, Kohler, WI. The family invites friends to a gathering at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center following interment.
A Shiva memorial service will be held at Attic Angel Place, 8301 Old Sauk Rd, Middleton, WI, at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, January 7th. Everyone is welcome.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Jean's name to John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 608 New York Av, Sheboygan, WI 53081, Attic Angel Association, 640 Junction Rd, Madison, WI 53717, and Agrace HospiceCare, 5395 E Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711.
Jean's family wants to thank the staff at Attic Angels-Haven and at Agrace HospiceCare for the compassionate care they provided to Jean.